Arts Culture University

TWA Review: A Journey Through Parallel Worlds

"Intimate, visceral and emotional," Dominic Cooper reviews the gripping 'TWA'

Directed by Saffy Setothy, TWA is as multi-layered in its performance as it is in its themes. Greek myths, split-personalities and live art made its way to the Macrobert’s Art Centre on International Women’s Day.

Exploring women’s issues and oppression through silence, the two cast members – Annie George (Writer/Performer) and Flore Gardner (Visual artist/performer) simultaneously convey an intimate, visceral and emotional tale which we are told is (mostly) biographical.

‘Some of it is true..but all of it is real.

Annie George
Annie George (Writer/Performer). Taken from deadlinenews.co.uk
Photo Copyright: Lunaria Ltd

TWA’s central discussion is about the power of silence and how to say things that can’t be said. Transitions between the Greek myth of Philomela and Goerge’s own experiences kept the audience engaged through the tragic poetic lyricism echoed in both tales. Gardner translated this into her own medium of surrealist, interwoven live art creating a mesmerising and haunting spectacle. The red ink against white paper heightened the story’s gruesome, romantic and traumatic elements.

Lighting and sound was minimal yet effective, exerting it’s more striking designs only during moments of intense emotion. Niroshini Thambar (Sound Designer/ Composer) has done an excellent job at creating an ambient and sometimes unsettling soundscape, creating the right atmosphere for a fluid and focused experience. Jan Bee Brown (Visual Dramaturg) conveyed the parallel reality of Philomela through expressionistic lighting, plunging the audience into a mythical world.

We were seated on the stage, right in front of the action. This evoked a sense of involvement and direct address throughout the performance, only adding to the it’s deeply personal nature. We were lucky enough to be treated to a Q and A session after the performance, in which the artists discussed their own lives and how they’d come to make the show. TWA was an eye-opening experience, as harrowing as it was uplifting. Most of all, it was a demonstration of theatre’s ability to express the hard-hitting, complex and authentic reality’s of it’s creators.

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